A Quiet Place, directed by and starring John Krasinski, is one of the most anticipated horror movies of 2018. The film sees an All-American family struggling to maintain their bonds in the aftermath of a population-thinning near-apocalypse. The trailers show the family being pursued by something opaque and monstrous and, whatever it is, it’s attracted to sound, forcing them to exist in absolute silence. While we see hints of something truly horrific, the real horror of A Quiet Place might have nothing to do with an outside threat.
Official Synopsis: A family lives an isolated existence in utter silence, for fear of an unknown threat that follows and attacks at any sound.
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Warning: Below There Be Spoilers!
The latest trailer (above) reveals for the first time that wife/mother (played by Emily Blunt) is pregnant; this is confirmed on IMDB, as a character referred to “infant child” is part of the small cast. This means Blunt’s character gives birth in the film. As horrifying as the idea of aliens or Lovecraftian beasties can be, the thought of giving birth in absolute silence is even worse.
Just imagine struggling through the pain of labor and childbirth without being able to make a sound. Nightmare, right? Except that there is a group that advocates their members deliver their children exactly in this manner.
Silent Birth is a tenant of Scientology; according to Wikipedia:
Silent birth, sometimes known as quiet birth, is a birthing procedure advised by L. Ron Hubbard and advocated by Scientologists in which “everyone attending the birth should refrain from spoken words as much as possible” and where “… chatty doctors and nurses, shouts to ‘PUSH, PUSH’ and loud or laughing remarks to ‘encourage’ are avoided”. According to Scientology doctrine, this is because “any words spoken are recorded in the reactive mind and can have an aberrative effect on the mother and the child.” Hubbard believed that breaking the silence during childbirth with words could adversely affect the child later in life. Church members believe that noises, sounds and words while a child is being born can possibly cause trauma, which in turn causes the production of engrams, thus necessitating silent birth. Scientologists believe that it is also a way to assist a newborn in his or her development spiritually.
How prominent is this practice? In the days leading up to the birth of their child Suri, Today states the following about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes:
According to another report, large posters have been given to the Catholic-raised Holmes reminding her to “Be Silent and make all physical movements slow and understandable.”
Like much of Scientology, many debate the benefits of Silent Birth.
When asked whether there was any medical evidence that indicated that silent birth was beneficial, Damian Alagia, MD, associate clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University Medical Center, replied, “It may be in the Scientology literature, but it’s not in the scientific literature. In my understanding, L. Ron Hubbard never spent any time in medical school, studying pediatrics or studying neonatal development. To think that a baby born in silence is going to do any better than a baby born, say, listening to Hank Williams is just foolhardy.” (Source)
If Emily Blunt’s character in A Quiet Place is forced to participate in the approximation of Silent Birth, could this be a deliberately anti-Scientology message? While there’s no literature to back it up, some claim practitioners abstain from talking in order to keep from attracting “thetans”, alien souls that will attach themselves to a newborn’s soul. The parallel is suddenly striking when taking this into consideration.
We’ll know for sure when A Quiet Place hits theaters on April 6th!
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